I live in Florida, and when people ask how close to the beach I am, I say, "Twelve minutes or twelve hours. Depends on which beach you want to go to."
Oh, what I'd give to be living in Florida! It's called the Sunshine State for a reason, and all the beautiful beaches in Florida justify the title. Tourists coming here mostly tend to make a beeline outside the state's various family-oriented attractions including SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort, and Walt Disney World. But there are also a dedicated bunch of people who come here to enjoy some awesome beach holidays, mostly in the winters (December to April), when the weather is perfect. Come spring, and it's time for the barely-turned-18 people to come here in order to indulge in the festival of excesses―Spring Break.
But for whatever reasons you're coming here, do not bypass a visit to the following white sand beaches.
Siesta Beach, Siesta Key
In one word, this beach really does have everything―the sand here is sugary white, the gulf water is calm and soothing, and if you're hell-bent on indulging in beach activities, there are plenty available.
You'll find picnic spots, playgrounds, and beach shacks that let you rent kayaks and catamarans. Plus, the beach is gorgeous enough to just take a long walk, or find a good spot to lie down and work on your tan.
Siesta Key is a 15-minute drive from Sarasota, and an hour's drive from Tampa.
Pensacola Beach, Santa Rosa Island
Pensacola Beach often finds a mention among America's top 10 beaches, and with good reason. The beach pier extends to 1,471 feet, making it one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tourists coming here can visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected seashore, and enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking.
Pensacola is an hour away from Destin, and nearly 3 hours' drive from Tallahassee.
Barracuda Beach, Destin
The city of Destin has quite a few options when it comes to white sand beaches. You may want to try Barracuda Beach, Crystal Beach, Silver Shells Beach, or the James Lee Park Beach, all of which have the most pristine white sand.
Facilities on most beaches here are excellent, including washrooms and showers. You can expect the beaches in Destin to be jam-packed in the summer months though, as it is a very popular holiday destination.
Destin is a 2½ hours' drive from Tallahassee.
Panama City Beach, Panama City
Everyone knows of Panama City as an amazingly popular spring break destination. Any clues, why? A beautiful seashore with gorgeous white sand as pictured above, why would one think of anyplace else? The Panama City Beach is a long stretch and has various access points.
Dog owners rejoice―there are 3 off-leash dog parks in the city: Frank Brown Park, Zollie Young Dog Park, and Everitt Avenue Dog Park.
Panama City is 2 hours away from Tallahassee.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area, Key Biscayne
The sheer beauty of Key Biscayne is sure to leave you mesmerized as soon as you arrive. In fact, the journey leading up to this rather secluded island is via the scenic Rickenbacker Causeway, crossing Biscayne Bay. It's really hard to believe that a place this serene is a short drive away from the hustle and bustle of Miami.
The Cape Florida Lighthouse located in the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area is an unmissable landmark here. Plus, you can also visit Crandon Park Beach, which happens to be another family hangout.
Key Biscayne is 20 minutes away from Miami.
Clearwater Beach, Clearwater
Another gem on Florida's spectacular west coast, Clearwater's name does say it all. Clearwater Beach was USA Today's Readers' Choice for Best Beach Town in Florida in 2013.
There are tons of activities to indulge in, both on land and at sea. The city's coastline offers endless miles of sugar-white sand, crystal clear waters, and temperate weather.
Clearwater Beach is a half an hour's drive from Tampa.
While this write-up ends here, it does not culminate the possibilities of finding other beautiful beaches in Florida, especially the white sand ones, as the state's west coast is full of them. So, go find your favorite, and let us know if you don't see it here.